"If baseball is the opiate of the masses, why aren't opiates given to the masses?"
This was possibly the most cogent question posed to Jonah Raskin on Thursday at Canessa Gallery after he read from his new book, Marijuanaland: Dispatches from an American War, published by High Times Books. The poser of the question was a young man who spoke with what was (in the context) calm, Harvardian breviloquence about how his family had no problem with his pot-smoking despite their own abstinence from the herb.
He had asked it as a follow-up to a somewhat less calm (and significantly less breviloquent) comment made by one of the older members of the audience, which was that the government -- the Man, what have you -- wants people to enjoy baseball because when you're at the game, enjoying yourself, you're not thinking of how little money you make. (He's apparently never pushed his debit card to its withdrawal limit trying to buy garlic fries and a beer at AT&T Park.) (continue reading)